Designing a Sustainable Residential House that Incorporates Palo Alto’s Climate and Environment to Reduce Utility Fees


by : 
Hyunah R.


There is a problem with the utility rates going up annually in Palo Alto. In order to support the utility companies that are trying to upgrade and rebuild their water and gas systems for beneficial reasons, Palo Alto, a customer for these companies, is required to contribute to the project's cost. When coupled with increased rates in every utility component, the average residential utility bill is expected to go up by 4-5% every year for the next five years. Although the rate increases are not entirely in the residents' control, an alternative solution to reduce utility bills is to design houses or install sustainable designs that will efficiently integrate Palo Alto's climate and environment.

Personal Statement

I chose to focus my AAR project on sustainable design because I have a passion for architecture. The science, math, and art behind the structures and facades intrigued me and gave me the motivation to learn more about different building designs and concepts. Not only is Palo Alto known for their tall trees raised by the ideal weather, but also for their expensive rents and utility bills. With this in mind, I was inspired to astutely combine these two factors and dedicate my project on developing sustainable designs for residential houses that would reduce the utility bill.